Archive for May, 2014

Dream Bigger

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Havasupai Falls

Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.  ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

 Lewis Carroll

“If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 

 Rosalyn Carter


I did it!  I hiked the Grand Canyon.  I wasn’t sure I could, but I knew I would.  Thirty two miles in three days with six awesome friends and family.  Up and down, down and up.  Through narrow switch backs, dry washes, and deep red sand.  Every step taking me closer and further away.

Occasional trains of pack mules led by local Native Americans would roar by us like a freight train as we hugged the canyon wall, seasoned backpackers armed with hiking poles would smile and stop to chat, and young bikini clad Millennials and an occasional helicopter would remind us that we were still in the 21st century.

Me and my Pack

Riley taking a break

Beaver Falls with Kevin, Jenna, Me, Riley, Eric, Aaron and David

Hiking the Grand Canyon was an incredible feat for me.  Especially since just a few months ago, I found myself inside another MRI machine looking for cancer on my spinal cord.  I had severe back pain and was losing the use of my left hand.  They did not find any cancer, thank God, but my body was weak.

In the meanwhile, I had just committed to hiking the canyon with my brothers and my son, Riley.  There was no way I was going to back out.  Wading in the blue waters of Havasupai Falls has always been on the top of my bucket list.  Plus, I made a commitment to my family and to myself.

Riley and Me

My handsome brothers!

Still not sure what was causing my pain and fatigue, I knew I had to move on and regain my strength.  So, every day, I put on my trail runners and hiked the back hills of Orange, gaining my muscle and confidence bit by bit.  It wasn’t easy, but I’ve had a lot of practice in not easy.

“I’m not sure I can do this!”  I would tell my kids.  “How am I going to hike 12 miles down a steep rocky twisting trail while carrying all of my gear on my back and then 12 miles back up the same trail with all my gear on my back.”  I would have visions of losing my balance and falling in.  My heart would start racing as I saw my family standing there without me in complete shock.  I imagined my epitaph.  Here lies a brave but stupid woman.  Morbid and ridiculous I know.  But we all do it.  We imagine the worse, fall prey to our negative thoughts, and believe we can’t do something when in fact we absolutely can.

I climbed this!
I can do this!
I did it!

Of course, I was wrong.  And, I wasn’t just a little wrong, I was dead wrong.  I can do it.  And, I can do it really well, even with 40 lbs on my back.  This was a huge lesson for me.  After reaching the top of that canyon, after hiking a total of 32 miles over the weekend, climbing 80 degree cliffs, crossing narrow bridges and trekking through rivers, I have learned to never say I can’t again.  I have learned to never doubt my ability.  And, I have learned to never belittle my dreams.  In fact, it is time to dream bigger.

Crossing bridges!

Eric taking a leap!

Words are powerful stuff.  For they become action or non-action.  If you say you can then you will.  If you say you can’t then you won’t.  And, if you don’t you will never know what you are capable of.  And that would be such a shame because those negative beliefs will become insidious.  They will creep into every part of your life and develop into bad habits.  These habits, in time, will become part of your character.  And, in the long run, “I can’t” will become your destiny.

When the real truth is you can, you are absolutely capable!

In fact, not only are we all capable, each of us is more than capable and we are more capable than we know.  Thomas Edison knew this.  He said, “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”


On top of the world!

So, my friends go astound yourself today.  Go astound yourself every day.  Climb that mountain, get that job, ask that girl out, take that guitar lesson, and go after your dreams.  Do not say I can’t.  Say YES I CAN and I promise YOU WILL!

I am going to leave you with these empowering words by Mike Norton, a bestselling author who is a winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays of world peace and respect:

“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible.  Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental virii prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be its conqueror.”